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Class Struggles

If psions are like wizards, than wilders are like sorcerers. For wilders, manifesting psionic powers are not a matter of intense discipline and internal focus. Wilders gain their abilities through raw emotion. Although they don't gain nearly the number of powers that most other psionicists do, they can augment these powers far more than what many would consider even possible. In addition, their intuitional abilities can protect them from attacks like no other class. Their power comes at a cost however, as overusing their abilities can take a toll on the wilder and put them in great physical danger.

Wilder Strengths

  • High Will saving throws
  • Access to 9 levels of psionic powers.
  • Able to wild surge in order to increase manifester level of powers and gain free power augmentations.
  • Better able to avoid touch attacks.
  • Costs of telepathy powers manifested against wilders are increased.

Wilder Weaknesses

  • Low Fortitude saving throws.
  • Low Reflex saving throws.
  • Know less than 1/3rd of the psionic powers a psion does.
  • Wild surges have the potential to daze the wilder and cost them extra power points.

Playing a Wilder
Unlike psions, wilders have proficiency with light armor and shields, making them much more capable in combat. Unfortunately, they know fewer powers than any other psionic class, short of the Divine Mind and Soulknife. In exchange for this, they have the ability to active a wild surge, which allows them to improve their manifester level temporarily, and later gain physical enhancements, meaning they can augment their powers much more than a simple psion would. However, this improvement comes at a cost. Every time the wilder uses their wild surge ability, they risk suffering from psychic enervation, the chance of which increases as the wilder uses more powerful surges.

Wilders have to balance themselves between power and vulnerability, putting their all into desperate attacks when there is no other choice and holding back their massive abilities when they can.

If psions are like psionic wizards, then wilders are the equivalent for sorcerers. The mutability between the psionic powers of different classes gives the wilder an extra advantage, as they can learn powers normally restricted from their class power list through feats, making them much more versatile than expected, as long as the proper planning is taken.

Race Suggestions
The insectile dromites (Expanded Psionics Handbook) are natural wilders, who not only have the higher Charisma required of the class, but can use their smaller stature and thick carapace to protect themselves from harm. They possess some energy resistance and a matching energy ray psi-like ability, which can help to form an elemental theme from early on. In addition, they possess abilities to help them observe the world around them, like scent and the Blind-Fight feat. Unfortunately, they have a +1 level adjustment that can make them somewhat more fragile than wilders of other races.

The maenad (Expanded Psionics Handbook) may not outwardly appear to be a great choice for a wilder character. They possess a sonic energy ray psi-like ability that can help them to protect themselves from harm. Their true strength comes from their outburst ability, which allows them to lower their Intelligence and Wisdom in exchange for an increase to Strength, an option that meshes well with the abilities of the wilder.

Humans are always the de-facto race of choice for all classes, and the wilder is no exception. A human wilder can immediately use their bonus feat to take Enervation Endurance and another feat, such as Focused Shield (see below for both), and become much tougher as a result. The extra skill points can also be helpful, but in this case, are somewhat less so.

Dwarves may not appear to be a great choice for wilder characters, but their various resistances can be extremely helpful. The strength of dwarf wilders lies primarily in multiclassing with martial-focused classes, such as the fighter or psychic warrior. This combination will allow the wilder to wear heavy armor and move at their full speed within it, as well as wield some exotic dwarven weapons without requiring exotic weapon proficiency feats. This race is best used with the Iron Mind prestige class (see below).

Although they aren't typically psionicists, aasimar (Planar Handbook) make for excellent wilders. Their higher Charisma and multiple energy resistances make these characters much more powerful and resilient. Their natural ability to create daylight provides them with an ability not usually allowed to wilders (although they could get similar powers through the Expanded Knowledge feat). Unfortunately , the aasimar race has a +1 level adjustment, making them somewhat more fragile than other races.

Feat Suggestions
As psionicists, wilders have access to an amazing number of feats, and may take both psionic and metapsionic feats. There are some feats though, that work very well with the wilder class and should get special mention.

Power Struggles
One of the biggest weaknesses of the Wilder class is their lack of powers. Not only do they only have access to only a third of the number of powers a psion gets, but they also have a smaller number of powers to pick from, since they only get access to psion/wilder powers, unlike psions who get access to that power list, plus an additional list based on their chosen discipline.

The easiest way to remedy this is the Expanded Knowledge feat (Expanded Psionics Handbook), which allows them to automatically learn any psionic power. Not only does the power provide another ability for the wilder, but it also allows them to learn a power from another class's list, opening up a whole new world of options.

Metapsionic feats are also excellent choices, as they can allow the wilder to enhance what powers they know. The trade-off is that the wilder will not be able to fully surge powers that they enhance through these feats. For the benefits that they could receive, it's very likely worth it.

Friends in Psi Places
Like most psionicists, wilders have the ability to gain a psicrystal through the Psicrystal Affinity feat (Expanded Psionics Handbook). These provide the wilder with bonuses to a chosen skill, along with Alertness and a handful of abilities similar to the ones gained by wizard familiars. You can get another skill bonus and decrease the amount of time needed to gain new psicrystal abilities through the Improved Psicrystal feat (Expanded Psionics Handbook).

If you find yourself often using psionic feats that require you to expend your psionic focus quite frequently, then you'll want to take the Psicrystal Containment feat (Expanded Psionics Handbook). This allows your psicrystal to focus and expend its focus in place of yours.

If you want a more active partner, you can take the Elemental Envoy feat (Complete Psionic). This allows you to summon one of four different psionic elemental creatures, which become more charismatic, tougher and powerful as the wilder levels. If you want to focus on your envoy's element, the Envoy Cognizance feat (Complete Psionic) will improve their manifester level on powers of that particular element.

Have You Got Any Protection?
Since the wilder's Surging Euphoria makes them much more able combatant, they will likely want to be closer to melee combat than a psion would. In order to make sure that they don't have their powers disrupted before they can be manifested, consider the Combat Manifestation feat (Expanded Psionics Handbook).

Since you can wield shields and aren't hampered for doing so, you may want to consider the Focused Shield feat (Races of Stone and Complete Psionic). This allows you to improve the armor class provided by your shield while you remain psionically focused.

You can also take the Invest Armor (Races of Stone and Complete Psionic) to allow you to expend your focus to gain an armor class bonus of your armor as an immediate action. Since wilders only start with light armor proficiency, the bonus provided by this feat can be the difference between a hit and a miss.

Wilders can also benefit from taking the Armor Proficiency feats, but these can also be gained more easily by multiclassing (see below).

A Volatile Mind
The wilder's volatile mind class feature is more useful in campaigns where psionics are common. In these kinds of settings, you will want to consider making your wilder less vulnerable to telepathic attack.

Volatile Escalation and Volatile Leech (Complete Psionic for both) are two feats that you can defend yourself with. Volatile Escalation further increase the number of power points required to manifest a telepathic power against the wilder. Volatile Leech allows the wilder to absorb any extra power points paid to affect them with telepathic powers.

Surge and Rescue
Wilders are one of the more unique classes available, not just because they have the ability to improve their abilities, but also because they could potentially hurt themselves by doing so. While wild surge is extremely powerful, the effects of psychic enervation can be devastating.

Two feats from Complete Psionic can help the wilder to reduce the drawbacks of using their wild surges. Enervation Endurance reduces the number of power points lost during a psychic enervation by half. Postpone Enervation allows you to postpone the effects of psychic enervation for a short amount of time, hopefully enough to allow you to get out of harm's way before you become a liability.

In addition, the Euphoric Reduction feat (Complete Psionic) allows the wilder to channel their surging euphoria into damage reduction instead of improvements to their combat abilities.

Keeping it Multiclassy
If you decide to multiclass for any amount of time, you should consider the Practiced Manifester feat (Complete Psionic), which improves their manifester level. Wilders with psicrystals or elemental envoys stand to gain a larger benefit with this feat.

Wilders who are also meldshapers should consider the Midnight Augmentation feat (Magic of Incarnum) in order to allow them to augment some of their powers for a lesser cost.

Wilders who become martial adepts can take the Instant Clarity feat (Tome of Battle) doing so allows the character to gain psychic focus after making a martial strike. When combined with the Focus Shield and Invest Armor feats, this can allow the character to become defensive.

Multiclass Suggestions
Wilders can make great use of some very simple abilities that they can gain very quickly through multiclassing. Multiclassing with the Fighter class provides them with better armor proficiency, more weapon proficiencies and bonus feats that they can use to increase their hand-to-hand combat capability.

An even better choice than the fighter is the Psychic Warrior (Expanded Psionics Handbook). While this class lacks the base attack bonus of the fighter it provides new powers, more power points and bonus feats drawn from a larger scope than the fighter's. Unfortunately, the psychic warrior's powers are Wisdom-based, requiring this combination to have a higher Wisdom score, something not normally required by wilders.

The wilder is the only psionic class based on Charisma. The other classes are based on either Intelligence (erudite, lurk, psion) or Wisdom (ardent, divine mind, psychic warrior). That means when multiclassing the wilder with another psionic class, you'll require multiple high mental ability scores.

The exception to this is the Soulknife (Expanded Psionics Handbook), which is the only psionic class that does not manifest powers. The class's high hit die and martial focus meshes well with the wilder. Such a character can wild surge a psychokinesis power (for a long-range attack), a psychometabolism power (to make them stronger or more defensive) or a psychoportation power (to teleport into the fray) and then use their surging euphoria combined with the soulknife's mind blade to deal devastating melee attacks.

If you want to splash in some arcane might, consider the Sorcerer. While the Warmage might seem better offensively, the sorcerer provides a broader range of spells that can accomplish things the wilder may not be able to perform on their own. Such a character will want to consider the psi-spell feats from Dragon Magazine #313, which allow them to combine spells and psionic powers together, or the psionic feats from Dragon Magazine #349, which have similar effects.

If you want to add some meldshaping abilities, Incarnate (Magic of Incarnum) is an excellent choice. It provides medium armor proficiency as well as an increase to Fortitude saves. Of particular note is the class's expanded soulmeld capacity feature, which works like an incarnum-version of the wilder's wild surge ability (but without the drawback). Both Azure Talent and Midnight Augmentation (Magic of Incarnum) are excellent feat choices for this combination.

If you want your wilder to take up the path of the martial adept, take a look at the Crusader (Tome of Battle). Not only does it provide some much appreciated armor and weapon proficiencies, a high base attack bonus and a high hit die, but it also gives the character access to martial strikes and a bevy of Charisma-based class features such as a smite attack. In addition, the class's furious counterstrike ability meshes well with the benefit/drawback flavor of the wilder. These characters will want to take the Instant Clarity feat (Tome of Battle) in order to maximum the potential of their psionic focus (see above).

Prestige Class Suggestions
Wilders are a potent class on their own, and don't necessarily stand to increase their powers through multiclassing, as most psionic prestige classes are focused on the psion or psychic warrior. There are still some excellent options to consider when selecting a prestige class for your wilder character.

Iron Mind (Races of Stone) - This combination will require some minor multiclassing to meet the heavy armor proficiency required. Not only does the iron mind become incredibly proficient in making Will saving throws, but they also gain Damage Reduction when psionically focused and in heavy armor which stacks with the bonus provided by the Euphoric Reduction feat (see above).

Anarchic Initiate (Complete Psionic) - The anarchic initiate is the only prestige class custom-made for wilder characters. The class allows the wilder to infuse her powers with the raw chaos of Limbo, making them potentially stronger, or weaker than before. In addition, they can open up breaches to the plane of Limbo, potentially trapping opponents and causing wild magic effects.

Diamond Dragon (Dragon Magic) - Diamond dragons study the mighty gem dragons and learn to manifest draconic abilities. A very easy class for the wilder to meet the prerequisites for, the class provides several physical manifestations (claws, tail, wings) and supernatural manifestations (fear aura, sleep immunity, breath weapon) that the characters can manifest by spending power points. This class can provide several extremely useful abilities without the need to learn new powers.

Pyrokineticist (Expanded Psionics Handbook) - The pyrokineticist doesn't provide any power progression and may seem like a backwards choice for wilder characters. If wilders are willing to give this up, they can gain several fire-based abilities, both offensive and defensive. Without the need to spend power points, the character can manifest wilder powers as they wish, then switch to their pyrokineticist abilities for continual attacks without cease.

Cryokineticist (Frostburn) - The cryokineticist is the ice-based version of the pyrokineticist (see above). As with the pyrokineticist, the wilder gives up power progression with this class, but gains several cold-based abilities in exchange. The cryokineticist is more focused on close-in combat than the pyrokineticist and characters should be built accordingly.

New Material

New Feats
Presented here are a pair of feats, exclusively for the wilder class that protect them against magic and allow them to channel their euphoria into fast movement.

Rushing Euphoria [Psionic]
You have learned to channel your surging euphoria into a boost in speed.
    Prerequisites: Surging euphoria +1 class feature.
    Benefit: When your surging euphoria, you can choose to channel it into a boost in speed. Instead of gaining bonuses to attack rolls, damage rolls and saving throws, you gain a bonus to your base land speed equal to 5 feet per level of surging euphoria you choose to activate. In addition, you gain a bonus to your initiative check equal to the level of surging euphoria you choose to activate.
    For instance, a 6th-level wilder with this feat who uses wild surge to boost her manifester level by two and uses surging euphoria can gain a 10 foot increase to their base land speed and a +2 bonus to their initiative for 2 rounds.

Volatile Antimage [Psionic]
When you are attacked by a spell of the enchantment school, your mind feeds back damage to the caster.
    Prerequisites: Volatile mind class feature.
    Benefit: While you are psionically focused and have not consciously lowered your volatile mind class ability, you deal damage to any spellcaster who targets you with a spell of the Enchantment school. You automatically deal 2 points of damage per spell level of the Enchantment spell that targeted you to the spellcaster. This damage occurs immediately after the spell is cast and does not affect the spellcaster's concentration.
    Normal: The volatile mind class feature only affects psionic powers of the Telekinesis discipline.

Electrokineticist (Prestige Class)
The thundering storm is the raw power of electricity in nature. The elecrokineticist is the master of electrical psionic energy. Taken in by the beauty of the savage power of the storm, they have learned to harness the destructive nature of lightning to turn it to their own purposes.
    An electrokineticist summons the power of electricity to attack, defend and alter their forms, until they get to the point that they can turn the power of pure elemental lightning to their bidding.
    Few psionicists become electrokineticists. While storms are undeniably powerful, they are equally difficult to control, and more than a few potential initiates have burned themselves to cinders through careless control.
    NPC electrokineticists spend their time on mountaintops, closest as they can get to the storm clouds that inspire them.
    Hit Die: d8.

To qualify to become an electrokineticist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Alignment: Any chaotic.
    Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Craft (alchemy) 1 rank, Knowledge (psionics) 2 ranks.
    Psionics: Must have a power point reserve of at least 1 power point.
    Special: A prospective electrokineticist must spend a night outside, and unprotected during a fierce thunderstorm. They may not use any magic or psionic powers to help them to survive.

Class Skills
The electrokineticist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (any) (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int) and Psicraft (Int). See Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook or Chapter 3 of the Expanded Psionics Handbook for skill descriptions.
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the electrokineticist prestige class.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Electrokineticists gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.
    Storm Spear (Ps): An electrokineticist gains the ability to fashion a spear out of psionically manifested electricity as a move-equivalent action. She takes no damage from a storm spear she creates. The spear deals 1d8 points of electricity damage on a successful touch attack and can be thrown (at a range of 20 feet) to deal 1d8 points of electricity on a successful ranged touch attack.
    An electrokineticist can take Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization (if she meets the prerequisites) in conjunction with the storm spear as well as any feats that apply to the use of a standard spear. The storm spear remains in existence as long as the electrokineticist holds it. The storm spear disappears from existence if it is dropped by the electrokineticist, or if thrown, after it has dealt damage to the target.
    Electrical Adaptation (Ex): At 2nd level, the electrokineticist becomes resistant to electricity, gaining a +4 bonus on all saving throws against electricity and electrical spells and spell-like abilities. In addition, the electrokineticist gains resistance to electricity 10.
    Shocking Hand (Ps): An electrokineticist of 2nd level or higher can activate this ability as a move-equivalent action. Electricity crackles along one of the electrokineticist's hands (but do her no harm). Her unarmed attacks with that hand are treated as armed. Such attacks deal 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage, plus an extra 1d8 points of electricity damage.
    Bolt of Lightning (Ps): Beginning at 3rd level, three times per day, the electrokineticist can lauch a bolt of psionically generated electricity at up to 60 feet at any target in line of sight as a standard action. This psi-like ability is treated as a ranged touch attack and deals 3d6 points of electricity damage.
    Shocking Weapon (Ps): At 4th level, as a move action, the electrokineticist can cause a weapon he wields to become covered in crackling electricity, granting the weapon (which can be a projectile such as a stone, bullet, arrow or bolt) the shock special ability (+1d6 points of electricity damage on a successful strike). If she lets go of the weapon, the electricity dissipates immediately, otherwise it lasts for a number of rounds equal to her electrokineticist class level.
    Conductor (Ps): Beginning at 5th-level, an electrokineticist can activate this ability as a move-equivalent action, supercharging her body with electricity. The electricity covers her entire body, but harms neither the electrokineticist nor her equipment. While she is under this effect, the character's Charisma score increases by 4, she can make a touch attack to deal 2d6 points of electricity damage and gains damage reduction 5/magic. If she is struck in melee, the attacker takes 2d6 points of electricity damage. This ability lasts for up to 1 minute per electrokineticist level and is usable once per day.
    Stormwalk (Su): Beginning at 6th level, as a free action the electrokineticist can expend her psionic focus to literally walk on air. She moves at her normal speed in all directions, including vertically, but cannot move more than double her speed in a round. A stormwalking electrokineticist leaves footprints of sparking electricity in the air that disperse in 2 rounds, but her tread does not deal damage. She must pay 1 power point per round spent travelling in this fashion.
    Fear No Storm (Ex): At 7th level, the electrokineticist becomes resistant to electricity, gaining a +8 bonus on saving throws against electricity and electrical spells and spell-like abilities. In addition, the electrokineticist gains resistance to electricity 20.
    Greater Shocking Weapon (Ps): At 8th level, the electrokineticist's shocking weapon ability improves dealing +2d6 points of electricity damage on a successful strike. In addition, the electrokineticist can instead choose to apply this ability to his shocking hand (see above), which increases the electricity damage of shocking hand to 2d8.
    Wind Wall (Ps): At 9th level, the electrokineticist gains the ability to create walls of rushing wind, as the spell wind wall. It is a full-round action to use this psi-like ability, and the electrokineticist must expend his psionic focus. The electrokineticist manifests this as a psi-like ability but otherwise it is just as if a 9th-level sorcerer cast the spell wind wall.
    Arc Flash (Ps): At 10th level, an electrokineticist gains the ability to create a massive burst of electricity around herself that electrocutes everything within the area. Once per day, as a standard action, she can use this ability to deal 9d6+21 points of electricity damage in a 30-foot-radius burst emanating from herself. Any creature or object caught in the burst can make a Reflex saving throw (DC 15 + electrokineticist's Cha modifier) for half damage. Anyone failing the Reflex save against the arc flash must also make a Fortitude saving throw (same DC) or die due to the extreme shock of the electricity coursing through them.

Table 1-01: The Electrokineticist
Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +0
Storm spear
2nd +1
Electrical adaptation, shocking hand
3rd +2
Bolt of lightning
4th +3
Shocking weapon
5th +3
6th +4
7th +5
Fear no storm
8th +6
Greater shocking weapon
9th +6
Wind wall
10th +7
Arc Flash

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